Governor Chet Culver today gave an upbeat assessment of Iowa’s economy in light of national recession fears. "There’s no reason that Iowans should fear this economic situation, especially here in Iowa," Culver says, "now that might not be the case in California where you’re looking at a 14-billion dollar budget deficit, Michigan a 10-billion dollar deficit."

Culver has been lobbying congress on behalf of the nation’s Democratic governors to include discretionary funds for the states as part of the stimulus package. Culver says Iowa is overall in very good shape, but he says when Congress agrees to the package, he wants to make sure that Iowa benefits.

The governor says it does not make sense for the state to tax any federal rebates paid to Iowans. Culver says, "It’s not meant to balance a state’s budget. It’s meant to stimulate a state’s economy." Senate Republicans disagree with the governor’s assessment — and they called for an immediate cut in state payroll taxes and a 50-percent reduction in the governor’s proposed budget increases to help the Iowa economy.